By Leslie Hanft, Certified Holistic Health Coach
The Best Vegetarian Chili

The Best Vegetarian Chili

My son loves animals.  So much so that when he was 5 years old he told me he wanted to become a vegetarian “for the animals”.  He was quite serious about it and since I am a big believer in the health benefits of eating a mostly plant-based diet, I told him I would support his decision.  The funny thing is, my son enjoys savory foods more than sweets and likes foods that have a “meaty” flavor.  I know this not because he has ever eaten a hamburger.  It is because he loves things like mushroom and lentil soup and this vegetarian chili that is so meaty tasting I honestly don’t think anyone would ever miss the meat!  Try it and decide for yourself.


The Best Vegetarian Chili
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups onions, diced
  • 4 cups peppers, diced (I used 3-4 multi-color peppers)
  • 6 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tablespoon each paprika and ancho chili powder
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can each of Kidney, Black and Cannellini beans (3 cans total)
  • 1 25-ounce jar of crushed tomatoes
  • 1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. Heat oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron pot.
  2. Sauté onions and peppers with the salt (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the spices and stir 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil, then let simmer 45 minutes.
  6. In a small blender, blend the mushrooms and walnuts (separately).
  7. Add blended ingredients, bulgar wheat and soy sauce.
  8. Let simmer 1 hour before serving.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Note - I used all organic ingredients.

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